Saudi Arabians Learning Air Traffic Control at NAV CENTRE

September 18, 2017
By Bob Peters

Cornwall Ontario – Students from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are in Cornwall training to become Air Traffic Controllers as part of an agreement between NAV CANADA and Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).

Training will take place at the NAV CENTRE from September through July 2018 for the 23 students, at which time the students will seek qualification as controllers at air traffic control (ATC) facilities in their home country.

“We very much appreciate the opportunity to work with the Saudi Arabia civil aviation authority on this exciting educational opportunity, and we are determined to give this enthusiastic group of students an exceptional learning experience,” said Garry Brown, Director of NAV CANADA International Training Projects and Delivery.

The  students will be provided comprehensive instruction in all aspects of VFR and IFR air traffic control. In this phase, much of their training will be conducted on the NAV CENTRE’s advanced Visual (VFR) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) simulators.

Students will learn aerodrome control, non-radar and radar approach control, air traffic management, and all aspects of Air Navigation System (ANS) communications, navigation and surveillance. Also planned are two, five-day familiarization tours of Nav Canada facilities to provide an understanding of day-to-day operations.

“NAV CANADA has the resources and expertise to custom-build courses, which sets us apart from a lot of ATC training schools,” notes Mr. Brown.  “We can tailor the course to meet the specific requirements of different jurisdictions, yet still adhere to ICAO standards. And our courses can start at any time during the year, on a timetable that suits the customer.”

The NAV CENTRE has a long history of training air traffic controllers, and training international students is something staff understand well.

“The NAV CENTRE has the capabilities to accommodate international students year-round,” says Kim Coe-Turner, General Manager at NAV CENTRE. “We partner with other groups in the community to ensure that our students feel welcome and have the opportunity to experience what it is like to live in Canada.”

About the NAV CENTRE

Located on the scenic shores of the St. Lawrence River in Cornwall, the NAV CENTRE is a full service conference centre offering access to 551 guest rooms and 70 dedicated state-of-the-art meeting rooms, spa, fitness centre with indoor pool and an Irish pub with live entertainment. The Centre can accommodate small groups of five to large groups of up to 500. Learn more at


NAV CANADA is Canada’s civil air navigation services provider. It is a private sector, non-share capital corporation financed through publicly-traded debt. With operations coast to coast to coast, NAV CANADA provides air traffic control, flight information, weather briefings, aeronautical information services, airport advisory services and electronic aids to navigation.

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